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 Texas : Features : Columns : "Charley Eckhardt's Texas"

The Eckhart Name
in Yorktown and Elsewhere

by C. F. Eckhardt
In 1966 I was working for an independent insurance claims adjustment firm in Corpus Christi. One of the firms we handled claims for was INA.The INA rep in Corpus at the time was Don Eckhart (note, no D).Don was from Kansas originally.

I was assigned a claim on an injury accident in Yorktown.The INA insured was Hugo Eckhardt. The claimant was a Mrs. Ellen (Eckhardt) Braun. Her doctor was Dr. Kleberg Eckhardt in Corpus Christi.The investigating officer from the Yorktown police department was another Eckhardt, but I don't recall his first name.
Yorktown history museum, Yorktown Texas C. Eckhardt Building
The 1871 C. Eckhardt Building in Yorktown - on the National Register
TE photo, July 2008

INA wanted a relationship chart.Of course, Don wasn't related to anybody.Hugo was from afamily of Eckhardts that came to South Texas from Russia in 1905.Mrs. Barth, who ran Barth's Restaurant in Kenedy, was also from that family.My grandfather Eckhardt was originally from New Orleans.He moved to Texas in 1901.Mrs. Braun & Dr. Eckhardt were either 2nd or 3rd cousins.The officer was a 4th or 5th cousin to them. Those three were all descended from a Charles (originally Karl) Frederick Eckhardt--which is my name--who landed at Powderhorn (Indianola) in 1825 and, with John York, founded Yorktown.

I am related to the Eckhardts of Yorktown and the Hill Country, but way back in Germany.The 'Frederick'in given names has been traditional in both lines since the 1700s, when we had a common ancestor who was a secretary to Frederick the Great.The traditional given names for boys in our line and in the Yorktown line--are Karl (Charles), Georg (George), Frederick, Artur (Arthur), Wilhelm (William), & Josef.However, when my grandfather came to the Austin area, he had no idea there were any Eckhardts any closer than New Orleans.He even pronounced the name 'Eckert,' and the family in Louisiana still does.However, there is a family of Eckerts, also from the Fredericksburg area, and he found his name was being pronounced 'Eck-heart,' so we changed the pronunciation.

C. F. Eckhardt
"Charley Eckhardt's Texas"

August 1, 2008 column

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